Boston Red Sox bits and pieces from the rumor mill
Is it good or bad news that the Boston Red Sox and enigmatic right-hander Matt Barnes agreed to a $4.5 MM contract? In the COVID season, Barnes was the closer to be and failed with four blown saves in 13 attempts – an actual improvement over the dismal eight blown saves against four in 2019, but there are other roles to fill in the bullpen.
Barnes also spoke about the Red Sox negotiating a longer-term deal prior to the 2020 season and an extension taking place has not been ruled out. In 2020, Barnes managed a 1.6 HR/9, 5.5 BB/9, 12.1 K/9, and 4.30 FIP/4.84 FIP, and a resulting -0.1 fWAR. $4.5 MM for that? Makes my head explode.
Barnes is in a performance sweet spot since the reliever market is projected to be rather slim after the 2021 season and Barnes will be a free agent. In the 2021 season, Barnes will be in the usual love/hate relationship with Red Sox Nation – an area in which I am entrenched in the latter.
The ever industrious rumor mill has churned out a possible link to the Red Sox and recently dismissed outfielder Eddie Rosario, formerly of the Twins. The Twins non-tendered Rosario and it certainly wasn’t about performance and was all about the money – as inspector Renault would say, “I am shocked!”
Rosario is a 29-year-old left-hand hitting outfielder who slashed .257/.316/.476 in 2020 and slammed 13 home runs. In 2019, Rosario hit 32 long and had 109 RBI. This guy can hit and the Red Sox current left fielder Andrew Benintendi is showing the opposite offensively.
Defensively, Rosario is not Gold Glove material but does have a career 2.9 UZR/150 and does have an arm that has generated some assists. The combination of offense and defense offers up a quality product with a consistent resume of hitting which Benintendi no longer has. The wrench tossed into the works is money. Rosario was looking at an arbitration tab in the $8.6-12.9 MM range. Then comes the Benintendi decision and that could mean trading when his value is in the sub-basement.
Further picket line news is Jackie Bradley Jr. has some interest from teams with both the Astros and Blue Jays being mentioned. This is a Captain Obvious moment since this has been well noted and reported since the closure of the World Series.
Bradley appears to be sloppy seconds with George Springer being the item of choice, including potentially the Red Sox. Bradley is coming off a 1.8 bWAR season in which he slashed .283/.364/.450 with seven home runs. Bradley is well noted for his defensive acumen and at the baseball age of 31-years-old and is projected to sign for two years and $16 MM. Could the Sox forget about Springer and sign Bradley Jr? I would.